Genome scientist supports DNA mapping for killer diseases

Washington: The American scientist who became the first to decode the human “Genome” – the DNA code for every cell in the human body – is to become the first person to map all of his own DNA.

Craig Ventor, aged 60, has already started to tailor his diet and lifestyle after discovering through DNA testing that he is susceptible to a number of hereditary illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and possible blindness and even mad cow disease.His father, for example, died at the age of 59 from cardiac arrest.

In a report in The Sunday Times he says that when people know their own genetic code they are no longer an average statistic. He also said that whilst knowing this information was helpful in making lifestyle changes there are a number of other factors that influence health outcome.

Ventor who heads the non-profit Craig Ventor Institute, a science centre in Rockville, Maryland in the US, wants DNA mapping to become available for all. He predicts that this will happen within the next decade.